Osho can’t give promises

Remembering Here&Now

Ageh Bharti recalls the preparations for Osho’s move from Jabalpur to Mumbai, during which Osho spoke about promises.

When Osho was about to move to Mumbai, He was sorting out the books in two lots – those that were to be taken to Mumbai and those that were to be left in Jabalpur. B.C. Jain, N.P. Shrivastava and I were helping Osho. We were cleaning the books of dust and kept them in separate piles while Osho was making us laugh, telling jokes and anecdotes. The work was not like work; with Osho’s presence we were enjoying it tremendously.

Osho with books

There came a point when I asked Osho the following: “Ananda had taken three promises from Gautam the Buddha before taking sannyas. One: that he will always be with him. Two: that whenever he will ask anything he will have to answer. Three: whenever he brings someone to meet, he will have to meet that person. Ananda was an older cousin, but once he takes sannyas he cannot tell Buddha what to do, because a disciple can’t order the Master around. So before becoming a disciple, he wants these three promises from Buddha.

“I only want two promises – that you will never be separate from me and whenever I bring someone to meet, you will meet them. Of course, I will never ask you any questions.”

Osho replied, ”I am here two thousand years after Buddha. So I have the opportunity of not giving promises, which Buddha didn’t have. He made a promise and got caught. When Buddha returned after his enlightenment, he asked Ananda to remain outside the palace as he wanted to see Yashodhara, his wife, inside the building. When Buddha returned after meeting Yashodhara, Ananda said that he had broken the promise by separating from him when he went to meet Yashodhara, why? Ananda asked straight, ‘Bhagwan, do you still have a wife?’

“Buddha replied, ‘I don’t have a wife but Yashodhara has a husband. And she is a prestigious woman of the warrior caste. When I left home she was asleep with her little child. She may be angry. She may have to scold me, ridicule me, and she will not do it in your presence. So it was necessary for me to meet her in privacy and thus give her an experience to say whatever she wanted to say.’”

Hence Osho said, “Buddha gave his word and got caught. After this experience I am alert, I can’t give any promises.”

We all really enjoyed chatting with him in such ways!

Ageh BhartiAgeh Bharti is a regular contributor

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